Reports & Papers

34 Items

A scene of the Bay Bridge with San Francisco in the background

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Paper

Venture Capital and Public Purpose Playbook

    Authors:
  • Liz Sisson 
  • Nathalie Gazzaneo
  • Campbell Howe
| April 2021

The Venture Capital Public Purpose Indicator and this accompanying playbook provide guidance to VCs and startups that are interested in preventing negative consequences and in laying a public purpose foundation.  They can be used alongside other existing diligence or planning processes.

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Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Technology Factsheet: Differential Privacy

Differential privacy is a safeguard used to protect an individual’s data privacy. It allows for the collection and publication of data patterns and trends, while protecting the privacy of individuals captured in a dataset. Differential privacy is not a tool or method, but rather a criterion or a property that multiple methods can achieve. More specifically, it is a mathematical definition of privacy that quantifies privacy risk. 

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Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Technology Factsheet: Vaccine Platforms

A vaccine platform is a “plug -and-play” physical framework that can be used when developing vaccines for emerging infectious diseases, such as COVID-19. Vaccine platforms use a base carrier or “vehicle,” such as a nucleic acid, viral vector, or liposome, which can be used interchangeably for various diseases. Once designed and licensed for one vaccine, the development of future vaccines using the same platform would simply require substituting the desired antigenic component, or a genetic compound that normally triggers an immune response. This would enable faster and cheaper development, regulatory approval and mass production. 

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Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Technology Factsheet: Battery Technology

A battery is a device which stores chemical energy and converts it to electrical energy. Battery technology is pervasive for individual consumers and in scaled operations, whether that is through the use of smartphone, automotive vehicles, or even large-scale data centers. The most popular battery type currently is lithium-ion, which ranges in application from powering small cellular devices to the electrical grid.

A view of the interior of the U.S. Capitol building

Benn Craig

Report

Building a 21st Century Congress: Improving STEM Policy Advice in the Emerging Technology Era

| November 2020

Many congressional personal offices and committees are already staffed by smart, public-spirited scientists and technologists, and Congress can draw on outside experts to inform its legislation and its hearings. But none of the interviewees for this report or our previous report, argued that the status quo worked as well as it should; no one thought that Congress had enough STEM expertise to effectively reckon with emerging technology issues. Everyone—from members of Congress to their staffers, from non-profit leaders to private sector professionals, from generalists to STEM professionals—thought that Congress can do better. 

Report - Technology and Public Purpose

Building a 21st-century American Economy

| November 2020

As the world confronts systematic, interrelated challenges from a raging pandemic to devastating climate catastrophes to a growing chasm of inequality, the United States has the opportunity to make deep commitments to new technological foundations that will usher in the next industrial revolution and greater shared prosperity. Or, we can continue along a business-as-usual path, ceding global leadership and the associated economic value creation elsewhere.

Members of the Faculty Working Group discuss the public purpose implications of emerging technologies.

Benn Craig

Report

Boston Tech Hub Faculty Working Group Annual Report 2019-2020

| September 2020

The Boston Tech Hub Faculty Working Group (FWG), hosted by former Secretary of Defense and Belfer Center Director Ash Carter and Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Dean Frank Doyle, holds monthly discussion-based meetings that explore and answer the question:

How do we resolve the dilemmas posed to public good and public purpose, created by technology’s unstoppable advances?

The Boston Tech Hub Faculty Working Group Annual Report is a summary report of findings, key insights, and outstanding questions from the discussions held during the 2019-2020 academic year.  

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

The Case for Increased Transatlantic Cooperation on Artificial Intelligence

    Authors:
  • Christie Lawrence
  • Sean Cordey
| August 2020

This report’s purpose is twofold: first, to inform policymakers and researchers about the current state of transatlantic AI efforts; and second, to recommend specific areas where transatlantic AI collaboration should be strengthened. Based on a comprehensive study of over 260 documents and reports covering the period from December 1997 to June 2020, we proposes more than 16 recommendations to increase US-EU AI collaboration across the entire AI ecosystem, as well as 9 recommendations for AI cooperation in the healthcare, environmental sciences, and defense sectors. Greater transatlantic efforts are needed to prevent the advancement of an AI vision that is adversarial and harmful to the wellbeing of the United States, the European Union, and allies.

In this April 22, 2020 photo, Gerard Bakulikira, right, and captain Tim Daghelet, left, both wear a Romware COVID Radius digital bracelet, which flashes red when people are too close to each other and creates a log of contacts. 

AP Photo/Virginia Mayo

Paper

Considerations for Digital Contact Tracing Tools for COVID-19 Mitigation: Recommendations for Stakeholders and Policymakers

Many are looking to digital contact tracing to assist reopening efforts, especially in light of reports that the U.S. could expect as many as 100,000 more deaths due to the virus by this Fall. This report focuses on how the U.S. might consider various proposed solutions.

We believe there are real benefits, challenges, and even potential harms in using digital solutions in the fight against COVID-19, but we must also acknowledge that the promise of any technology and associated systems to assist manual contact tracing efforts is largely hypothetical in the United States. There is not one catch-all answer; the truth is that technology is not a panacea, but it may be able to assist official efforts at an unprecedented time. However, no technological solution can succeed without two specific factors: public trust and buy-in, and rapid, widespread testing for everyone living in the U.S. To achieve the first, a number of factors must be addressed by officials in the states looking to implement digital solutions, and by technology developers.
 

A MEP walks in the mostly-vacant Plenary chamber of the European Parliament in Brussels, Tuesday, March 10, 2020.

AP Photo/Virginia Mayo

Paper

Transatlantic Dialogue: The Missing Link in Europe’s Post-Covid-19 Green Deal?

| April 2020

This policy brief emphasizes that the European Green Deal's effectiveness in a post Covid-19 world will require the involvement of strategic partners, especially the US. In the context of a potential US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement and the consequential vacuum, it will be even more important to engage the US in implementing the GD. In light of divergence between the US and the EU during past climate negotiations (e.g. Kyoto, Copenhagen, and Paris), we suggest a gradual approach to US engagement with GD initiatives and objectives.